Magazine article International Musician

Nation Anthems Recorded in Canada

Magazine article International Musician

Nation Anthems Recorded in Canada

Article excerpt

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) is preparing for 2010 when the city plays host to the 21st Winter Olympics. In late September, VSO spent three days recording the national anthems of all countries participating in the Winter Olympics.

It is customary for the host city to record the national anthems and VSO recorded a total of 97 national anthems to be played at medal ceremonies during the Olympics.

Hal Beckett, Local 145 (Vancouver, BC), was approached by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) to act as music producer for the recording sessions. The recording took place in Bell Centre in Surrey, British Columbia. Beckett explains that the 32 microphones recorded the symphony in a manner similar to feature films instead of traditional classical recordings.

Many of the anthems have been passed down through the years and some needed orchestration. Over the three days, the orchestra spent about seven and a half minutes per anthem, some took longer, and some only took a few takes. As many of the national anthems have military origins, the brass section got quite a workout. "At the end of the first day, our tuba player had an ice pack on his lips," Beckett says.

Marti Kulich, program director for VANOC, said in a statement, "I received the completed (mixed and mastered) anthems from Hal last week and they sound great. The members of the association have really done themselves, Vancouver, and Canada proud, and truly did pull out all the stops in a marathon effort to create a spectacular set of anthems. …

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